I am Not a Dish

I am not a dish and neither are you
so why should a business expect us to wash our hands with dish soap?

Let me back up a bit. I’m not a business expert and don’t pretend to be, but I’m a careful observer. I’ve made many observations about business and arts organizations as both a producer and consumer that I’d like to share.

Part of the job of any successful business is to make the customer feel welcome, whether it’s online or in a store. Yes, theatre is a business too, they don’t call it Show Business for nothing. We begin at the end, or perhaps your rear end…

Let’s Talk About the Bathroom

You know that awesome bar you like to go to? It’s fun, great drinks, nice hang out spot. But when you go into the bathroom you say “ew,” do what you have to and get out as quickly as possible. A bathroom isn’t a giant recepticle for human waste. It’s a room! And I’ll be darned if I don’t rest in a restroom. The point is that one feels unwelcome when going in. Why should anyone care?

Let’s try a different example. Picture a really nice hotel, resort, or similar establishment you went to at one point. Let’s say for a party, company gathering, or other event. You’re in the lobby or ballroom and head into to the restroom and what do you see? Lots of open space, clean counters, clean air-freshener scent, fully stocked paper towels, tissues, soap, and moisturizing lotion. Opulent? Maybe. But do you feel welcome, taken care of, and valued? I sure do.

So when I walk into a bathroom of a local small theatre one night to use the bathroom and see a small dish-soap bottle on the sink I exclaim “I am not a dish!” to my reflection.

The Point

The patrons of the bar came for the drinks, the hotel guests for the event or a vacation, and the theatre patrons came for the show. But a place of business is not measured solely by their product, the whole thing is a package deal. If the business is great and you feel welcome in all places including the bathroom, you know they really appreciate you.

Don’t be too quick to forgive feeling unwelcome or unappreciated. Give the staff some constructive criticism if it’s sub par. If they’ve done a good job, thank them and tell your friends about the fine establishment.

Do you have any stories about times you felt particularly welcome or otherwise?